THE NEW YEAR AND BEING 80

Me with grandkids on my birthday

Me with grandkids on my birthday

(I’m not old, I’m perennial)

It’s the last day of 2017 and I’ve been 80 for 10 days. Here’s what’s bad about being 80:
I can’t run
I can’t ski
It’s hard handwriting thank-you letters which is the polite way to do it
(osteoarthritis is responsible for all the above)

Here’s what’s good about being 80:
People are solicitous, asking if I want to sit.
They open bottles for me and let me go first.
I don’t get groped or harassed
I can fall back on “Well, I’m old,” to justify mistakes
My strong muscles which have always been there have suddenly become a remarkable anomaly to people who hug me
I’m viewed as an elder (even though I feel like a newbie)
I can look back over 8 decades and hence can remember:
When song birds and empty spaces were plentiful
When there were only 2 billion people in the world and consequently less stress, clean air and water, way less traffic, more opportunity to pull yourself up by your bootstraps
When it was safe for a kid to play alone, outside, in the street or the forest
All the challenges and tradegies that I survived (hence, I know I can again)
How to make lemons into lemonade & not sweat the small stuff

Also,
I’m less scared of embracing uncertainty
I’ve had time to learn to forgive and the time to reflect and learn from my experiences
I know what I need so I can jettison what is unnecessary
I’m less susceptible to stress (“This too shall pass”)
I no longer hold grudges (with the exception of Henry Kissinger and Dick Cheney both of whom I still believe should be tried for crimes against humanity)
I’ve learned to be more tolerant and patient
I have less ego stake in outcomes
I know there are many things that I will never do or do again and it doesn’t matter (start a new business, go to Myanmar, drive a Ferrari, learn to sail, get married, etc)

So, for me, there’s way more positives than negatives about being smack dab in the midst of oldness. But then, I have my health.

One more thing: There has never been a time in my 80 years when I have felt what I’m feeling today: utter terror that our country is being taken into a possible dictatorship, with a KGB-type intelligence/surveillence; that poor people, people of color, formerly well-paid blue collar working people, will never again be able to afford good schooling, a home, health care, freedom from violence and stress and that too many won’t even know it’s happening because they aren’t getting true news/facts.

2017 showed us—at least those of us who are still able and willing to access truthful news—that the threats to our democracy and to our environment are far worse than any of us dared imagine. The seeds of fascism are all around us.

So my plea to those who follow me on social media is to harness every ounce of your abilities, imagination and courage to do all that you can, in collaboration with others, to stop the destruction of Democracy and civil society. Join others in non-violent efforts not just to resist but to transform the social and political landscape. I am doing it by working with groups on the ground in various parts of the country who go door to door, finding out what people are worried about and helping them understand why those now in power do not intend to help them. Quite the opposite. There are so many people and organizations out there working to educate potential voters and to build long-term people’s movements with the aim of establishing a vibrant, democratic civil society. We must make it possible for single mothers to earn a living wage and have access to affordable child care; do away with mass incarceration and the privatization of prisons; sexual harassment and violence against women must end; former unionized workers must be retrained for the new economy and given jobs not promises; student debt must be forgiven and schools must be improved for all young people; our public lands must be protected and all forms of extraction halted; racism must be made a shameful (and acknowledged) part of our past. There is so much to be done and all of it is possible if all of us can muster the will and determination to fight back against what’s happening.

Greed and selfishness are not the pillars of a stable society so let’s be fierce in this New Year.

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195 Comments
  1. First of all what a wonderfully thought out post. Also, congratulations on turning 80! It is always a great milestone to reach each year of age…at least to me.

    Secondly, I agree and support what you are doing and feel ashamed that we have the leaders we have right now. I cannot state specifics about this because I am in the Air Force and would have repercussions if I truthfully spoke my mind. I will state that it is truly saddening how many people are so closed-minded and downright cruel to others in society. Perhaps people have forgotten that we were all immigrants to this country with exception to the Native Americans. I also, was not born in this country. Luckily I was adopted by wonderful parents so that I could have a better life than being in South Korea as a halfie. (Back in 1985 half-Korean children were not socially accepted. My education amongst other things would have suffered.) I appreciate the many freedoms I do have by being a naturalized citizen of this country.

    What upsets me more is that people are so quick to judge others. Oddly enough my job in the Air Force is an Equal Opportunity Counselor, where I help those that have been sexually harassed and disxriminated against. It is probably the hardest job I have had because people have such different viewpoints of their reality and sometimes do not care to change their ignorant ways. But I am a firm believer in people using their rights that us in the military fight to keep, even though ours can be limited at times. Thank you for your efforts, they are going to change so many lives and DREAM ON!

    – Your Deployed Air Force Fan-

  2. You are and look amazing.. I love you in Frankie and Grace.. Your an amazing woman, I appreciate your work as a woman and actress..

  3. Hi Jane.
    I’m off to Rome tomorrow for four days with my best friends. By far my favourite city. We’re staying in the Jewish quarter. I know you’ve blogged from Rome, but there’s no search function on this site to find out if you recommended any restaurants in those blogs. Maybe you have one or two? Is it true you lived there while filming Barbarella? I found a fantastic photo of you cooking pasta (it looks like it’s pasta) in your Barbarella outfit. That must have been in Rome during that time.
    Anyway, Arriverderci and Baci!
    Jason

  4. Hello, Ms. Fonda,
    I’m new to your website–wonderful!!!!!–but I’ve always wanted to tell you how much your great acting means to me. Your work is fantastic and you have a sublime comic gift. Thank you for the gifts of your movies and for your steady work for human rights. Cordially and sincerely, Max Alberts

  5. Dear Jane, thank you a thousand times over again for all you do to try to make it better, As in everything you fight for and stand up for. You are truly a wonderful person. And you HAVE made it better… people listen to you because You come off as real and not just a celebrity. The way you interact with your fans is wonderful, and you inspire so many. On another note… I just finished season 4 of Grace and Frankie and I seriously can’t get enough of this show! It’s seriously addicting. You and Lily are magic together. After season 1 I was curious to know more about the actress behind Grace so , I bought a few of your books and loved them! ❤️ Allow me to introduce myself I am one of your newer and younger fans. I’m a 34 year old mother/aspiring singer songwriter from Pennsylvania. And I just needed to let you know how totally inspirational I find you. Keep it up! Give us another 50 seasons of Grace and Frankie PLEASE!

  6. Dear Jane, I hope this finds you well.
    What a beautiful description of your feelings about being the age you are. I am 57 and I already feel much of the good things that one gets to experience just being an older person. I feel much more contented. I don’t sweat the small stuff. I live more in the moment. I have let go of any resentments. I want everyone to be happy, even those I am not that fond of. I care even more about the disenfranchised than I used to because things are somewhat dire.

    I know what it is like to live in a world where there were less people. In my care, at least 3 billion less I think. I know what it is like to live in a time before mobile phones, the intenet, devices, when we could just go out to play imaginary games and so forth and much more.

    I am grateful for my life, my health, the love I have received and am able to give and I’ve done the best I can to do what I can for others and also I had the fortune of discovering veganism 12 years ago. Being vegan (the ethical position) is one of the best decisions I have made in my life. So that’s a big bonues.

    I also had the fortune of coming across independent journalism like the Real News Network, journalists Abby Martin, Ben Norton, Max Blumenthal and authors like Noam Chomsky and Chris Hedges (Pulitzer prize recipient), and they all opened my eyes to US imperialism which is supported by both sides of the political ilse and how much destruction US empire does globally and how we need to do our best to bring this to the world’s attention to the plight of brown people overseas who are being killed by the millions in these imperialist wars. And that we need to end the insanity of perpetual war.

    But what is wonderful is your consistent concern for human rights Jane. Your concern for the greatly deteriorating situation in the US (which has been happening for decades) which is not helped by either side of the political ilse. I think people need to start voting for 3rd parties there and force a change. There needs to be rank choice voting as well. And there needs to be most importantly, a grassroots nonviolence movement to end neoliberalism and end perpetual war and bring in a kind of democratic socialism which will allow the masses to get what they deserve, free health care, free education and so forth.

    I live in Australia and neoliberalism is gradually trying to turn our country into a mini-US in relation to rights. Health care is a right, not a privilege.

    Anyway, you are one of the very few in your profession who is talking publicly about these important issues or who cares about them and I greatly appreciate it. Please consider checking out “The Empire Files” with Abby Martin. I think you will really enjoy it and it is a real eye opener. She is the real deal when it comes to journalism – fearless, and honest.

    Thank you Jane for being who you are. To me, it’s more about you as a human being that I admire, but your acting skills are also something to admire. I very much enjoyed “Our Souls at Night”. Great happiness always.

    Trish (Tasmania Australia)

  7. Hi, Jane. I have watched you through the years from Barefoot in the Park, to Sunday in New York, to Cat Ballou, to The Dollmaker, to On Golden Pond, to Our Souls at Night. My very favorites of all your movies. I’ve watched you personally from the outside world as you have become the person you are today. I’ve watched you in interviews, and listened to you speak from your heart. I especially loved the Barbara Walters interview when you were promoting your book. I felt you revealed your heart in that interview and it was heart-touching for many people, including me. I wanted to tell you, that though I disagree with you on many political issues, as a person, I also care about you, pray for you and your family and your needs, and genuinely admire the person you are! I could easily be friends with you, despite our political differences. I admire your heart, and your spirit. Your tenderness and your vulnerability. Your kindness and your thoughtfulness toward others less fortunate than yourself. I like the genuine person you are. In the grand sceme of things, my thoughts here don’t matter much, but I wanted to say them. I wanted you to know that I like you as a person. We all grow and change in our lives, and I respect the person you have become. God bless you, Jane!

  8. I like you Jane. I love your show. I don’t always agree with your politics. Actually, with what I read, I feel this same way about all the democrat politicians, especially the Clintons. All this aside, it’s too bad Eve ate the apple and Adam followed her footsteps. We will be searching for paradise til our end. Be good to each other, it’s the best we can do.

  9. Važená Lady Jane.jste krásná a krásná budete i pro dalši generace.Vaše srdce je na správném místě.cit a lásku máte od boha a váš smysl pro demokracii je hoden prvni dámy a pro mě jste prvni dáma.milovat vás je jako sen o svobodě na celé zemi.přesto jste můj sen a vždy budete .Petr

  10. Watching Season 3 for third time…

  11. good day Lady Jane I wrote you on a blog in Czech. I can translate it if you did not understand. I thank Petr Šetek

  12. Facebook Petr Šetek cz city Střibro

  13. dear Jane I love my children and I wish my daughter Andrea to study in a country other than the Czech one. Great corruption and the superiority of people is uncontrollable and very complex for Dad. Andrea studies the second year of Charles University sport and goes to work to do it all I help but I can not help. I hope you can give your daughter a helping hand to go to work and study in the USA. In this country, I do not want to keep my children alive, I want them and I want them to know what your land is.

  14. My dearest Jane, may you count many more because you are a beautiful person and above all, becauae we and the world need you.
    I just got your signed photograph. I cannot express how grateful i am and touched by your gesture and about what you wrote me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I love you deeply and i will be forever grateful to have ‘known’ you. Thank you. Always with you. Always.
    LOVE
    Isabel xxx

  15. Im a big fan. I do your workouts literally everyday. Im 19 and no one my age knows who you are am its crazy, then I show them the original workout and the end up buying it! also I was curious who Leslie Lillian is and she is a doctor of some sorts now and literally looks exactly the same from the videos!

  16. Dear Jane, It’s amazing experience see you at Gracie&Frankie. The same energy and charming like the woman who’s gave us “Workout” with a”plus”…enjoy the moment.Love is everthing we need.That’s all! Love&Light

  17. I have reread this blog entry multiple times now because of how endlessly inspiring it is. Your activism and awareness regarding the worlds problems is simply awe-inspiring and as a young activist myself, it’s wonderful to read something so motivating and full of genius. xx

  18. I carried this for many years. I never spoke up for myself, but I am now. During that time, two board members (R. Blalock called me directly after the board meeting, and and I reached out to D. Stoneman) and both informed me what was discussed in the meeting about me…things that were not true and impossible. I kept silent thinking, if it were true, someone would talk to me or ask me about it. But no one ever did. I think the people who you thought you could trust and those always in your ear were really the ones that betrayed you. Not me! I was so excited about my job and worked hard to do everything right. Everything I did had to be approved by the accounting staff. I kept track/receipts of all of my transactions ($138,000.00 total that year) which I had ready to present when asked. To this day, I wonder why no one ever asked me about it. Perhaps because they knew it was not true. I believe, I know, I was used as the scapegoat.

    I never spoke to anyone about my conversation with the board members, not even my husband until recently. I was so embarrassed and felt betrayed that someone would accuse me of something that I did not do. I was not raised that way. I’m sorry you felt you couldn’t trust me, but I am more sorry that you believed the people in your ear and allowed them to accuse me of something I did not do. I shared with my story with my 11 year old daughter a couple of weeks ago talking about life lessons and that she must always be true to herself and to be prepared for whatever life hands you and learn the lesson from it. Don’t let it consume you, learn from it, forgive those who betray you and move on. She suggested I contact you to tell my side of the story. Although I have so much more I want to express to you, I will let it go. If you are reading this message, then that is enough for me for at least I know you finally heard my side of the story and I can have closure. Many blessing to you and I forgive you and the others who slandered my name. Although you were misguided, and aside from what happened, you still inspire me.

    P.S.Despite what happened, I been blessed with a wonderful family who love and care about me, and will always be in my corner.

    Sonja

    • Forgive me, Sonja, but I am not sure what you refer to when you talk about being accused etc. What were you accused of? When did this happen? x

  19. Ms. Fonda,
    My best friend Stephanie and I are obsessed with you. We are in our late 30s. Much like Brandi we fell in love with you on Grace & Frankie. Thank you for all you do, you are an inspiration. xoxo
    Jessica

  20. Dear Jane,
    I think you are an amazing person! I have been a fan of your work in films for quite some time now but just recently started discovering the other work you have been doing with your non-profit organization and standing up for civil rights and womens rights. You are a true inspiration and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for helping to educate a generation of women and thank you for your hard work and dedication. You have inspired me to become more involved in what is happening in the world.
    A fun side note – I just found out you share the same birthday as my oldest daughter – cheers to winter solstice babies everywhere! 🙂
    Keep fighting the good fight!
    xoxo – Kimberly

  21. A little late but Happy Birthday Jane. I will never forget the time I spent with you in Vancouver. We continue to work for a better world. So glad you are always there with us. xoTyger

  22. Hi Jane,
    I have long admired you, but let’s say, from afar. Now I find you are a click away and I am grateful for that. I’ve gone from your films to your protests to your fitness tapes (Make it burn) – to Grace and Frankie, and there is so much still to discover. I will be 65 shortly and feeling it. Thank you for your wise words. They help.

  23. It’s funny about the interconnectedness of things. I’ve watched you in many movies over the years, but Grace and Frankie is the show that made me really interested to know more about you. That lead to Google searching, which led to your book Prime Time. I’m only 47, but around the time I turned 40, I went into a period of “existential depression” (mid-life crisis?) and have been hiding a lot of misery and confusion from my family and friends. I have no framework or blueprint for aging, or at least I hadn’t until I read your book. Thank you so, so much for writing that. It has helped me think much more deeply and in a more productive way about how I want to spend the rest of my second act and who I want to be in my third act. I have hope again, and I feel like I have you to thank for that. 🙂

  24. not a day goes by without @ least 1 thouggt about u & what kind of day u r having or had, the magic of yer amazing beauty still shines

  25. Dear Jane,
    It’s some time past the new year, but I hope this finds you well.
    One of the things I study is “life history” the processes of living organisms from conception to dissolution.
    female humans are unique in several ways, and every part of their lives is important, even vital, especially in the trying ties you’ve mentioned.
    People will notice some societies, like that of Orcas (whose brains are 5x our size, by the way), whose family groups are led by the eldest female (Elephants, with their constant migrations, also depend upon memory and the ability to evaluate gained only through experience).
    We differ in that human females experience menopause. this latter cessation is accompanied by some neurohormonal and some cognitive changes. I’ll just cut to the quick here, rather than write too much about the specifics:
    As you may know by now, women are the healing and assessing social glue of a community, having some acute perceptions of those with whom they meet. Women have an increased capacity to detect deception, for instance, and even by puberty are more skilled in language use than are males. These and other traits I may mention have been corroborated by scientific study, and deconflated with other traits.
    This innate skill is retained through a lifespan.
    that postmenopausal change is one particularly important in that females from the first, respond to stress through the colloquial “tend and befriend”. they are peacemakers, with greater courage in emotional understanding, restoring the bonds we call love.in all its forms.
    That menopause, you can see, was a release from self- and offspring-centeredness, into a more expansive inclusive role.
    Your choices of essay subjects clearly exhibit this increased capacity.
    as you grow along time, you become more never less, important to your intimates, all humans and much more: to all life you affect.
    Although you see some distressing things right now, be assured that, as a friend once mentioned to me: it’s only necessary that now and then you manifest this essence. You can trust in who and what yu are.
    As a social biologist, I have seen ALL the cognitive and physical interactions, emotinos, and disputes you see today, in many animals. In spite of our living through our imaginatin, rather than real sensory reality, we still do not differ from any other organism. even violence is mere pressure to disperse, shaped over milions of years in many animal species.
    N, there is nowhere to disperse any more, with all habitats being overfilled and/or overexploited.
    but empathy never leaves our heart, and all trage3dies reopen us. this is the nature of life; love could never have evolved without mortality.
    Many cultures teach the necessity of periodic solitude, essential for our kind.
    You will know well by now, that gratitude toward all other life and to the uplifting physical world for merely being, is both innate, and that attention to it are required. It only takes that periodic attention to the self in solitude to automatically become prominent . Gratitude, as you see, is not different than love. Trust is necessary, but you can notice that it is the preliminary feeling of the former two.
    all who have ever lived, shed, respire, breathe atoms and molecules, and these great and tiny cycles mean that we are composed of all others, who have gone, who live now, who will come. (I was petting a North American rhinoceros and sabretooth tiger skulls – both had lived tens of millions of years ago, in a far place, when I thought this. They had been born vulnerable, protected by their female parent and group, learned and basked in sun, and at every moment breathed what dispersed into us. THe redwoods here, whose single lives can last our entire written history, shelter those vibrant components of life, daily transforming new oxygen, some of which you breathe at this moment.
    There is more.
    We give at every moment. Nothing is as it was in the last or next; we are inherently sharing. This is what we are.

    • Dear Michael, You’ve given me a lot to think about here. Thanks for that. so, what do you think happens to us when we die? xx Jane

      • Having experienced being out of body, I am absolutely certain that “life” goes on after death, but in a different form. I have said this before and I will continue to say it: death is a vastly creative force, the shedding of the physical body, readying one’s transformation into a higher vibration, a new life spawned on a higher plane of consciousness where one still perceives and grows. We pass into the ethereal world like a shooting star ablaze in a boundless sky, leaving only memories behind and then we disappear into the endless night, headed for a world more loving and glorious than we can imagine. I read something similar by Elizabeth Kubler Ross but she said that we leave like a falling star. Falling stars and shooting stars are the same thing, but they fall to the Earth and disintegrate. I know that we travel upward beyond what the physical eyes can see, and, because life goes on after death of the body, it seems only logical that reincarnation is real. We keep returning to learn and age our souls through acquired wisdom. Otherwise how do you explain young souls versus old souls?

        At the moment, I am finishing up treatment for triple negative breast cancer, the most aggressive type. It has been an interesting and surprisingly joyful journey. Yes, the chemo messes with your skin, your nails, and your hair, but all that will be reversed (my hair just started growing out, but my fingernails and toenails are still blackish purple. It takes longer for the nails to grow out). Anyway, the point here is that I never once feared dying because I am not afraid of death and I was only stage 2. So, I decided to create my perception of the experience: Tuesdays were not only chemo days, they were my spa days. I got to sit back in a recliner with a pillow and a blanket, and a reflexologist working for the hospital massaged my feet while I was infused with Benadryl and steroids along with the chemo drugs. The Benadryl makes you sleepy, so you have a nice nap. The steroids make you feel like wonder woman, which means that once the Benadryl wears off, you are ready to boogie. I got all of my chores done on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in the beginning. The chemo is cumulative, so after a while you start to get really tired, even on your wonder woman days, and you sleep a lot. I’m an insomniac, so the sleep was welcome. I can’t say that I hated the chemo, but it is not something I particularly want to do again. Once is plenty. So far, the radiation, which I am receiving now, is a piece of cake in comparison.

        All that to say that you can create whatever you want in life by shifting your perception. I never had a moment of depression or fear during this particular journey. I found the lump at 3:30 a.m. last August. I heard a voice tell me to check my left breast. I figured if I was being warned, I was not going to die. If it were in the cards for me to “book,” I would not have been warned, but either way, I would have handled the journey similarly. I had a choice. I could resist the inevitable treatment and all that it entailed or I could go with the flow. I went with the flow. Resistance really is futile. You learn nothing from it and you are decidedly miserable most of the time. I never resisted this journey. I never resisted war. Instead, I was for peace. I like to move in the affirmative, not the negative. There is a fine line between the two. I’m a spiritualist. I know that we are all connected. I never had that feeling of grand appreciation for life because I was journeying through cancer, because I have always had that appreciation. I was truly more focused on the journey, not the end point, just the journey. It just so happens that the journey has brought me to a place of fully physically healing. I see death as the ultimate healing. You graduate out of this journey to move on to another more lesson-filled journey.

        That’s my story, morning glory. That’s how I see life and death. They are one and the same, just in different form.

        • Dierdra, I absolutely LOVE your attitude…and I agree with you. Have had cancer. Not afraid. Read “Marrow” by Elizabeth Lesser. Beautiful.

  26. I was watching your RuPaul video honoring him at The Hollywood wWalk Of Fame. I stated to realize how intelligent you’ve been in your life surrounding yourself with people who have helped you be who you are. Growing up Jane Fonda as you’ve written wasn’t a piece of cake, but with the people you allowed and wanted in your life brought you here to be one of the most respected human beings on this planet.
    Write a book about relationships and how they can help you be who we should be, Just like you!!!

  27. Dearest Jane,

    What more can be said about you? I’m so thankful my mother made my sisters and I do your workouts in middle school and directed our journey to health and fitness. I purchased and read your book, “Jane Fonda, My life so Far” and applaud on how you’ve lived your life under your own terms. Fascinating for a woman in your generation- Brava!
    This year I will turn 45 and fully agree with your sentiments about love, health and politics. Will you please write a book on how to prepare for menopause and other surprises?

    You are truly adored Ms. Fonda….

  28. Dear Jane,

    I just want to thank you for continuously inspiring people of all generations and backgrounds. I’m a millennial just entering her “second act” and I’ve just finished reading your autobiography. Your book is so honest and brave, and I’m thankful for this since it has helped me and countless other women (and men!) I’m sure. As a new PhD (Film, Media, Communication) who has taught Gender Studies Courses, I can say that readings from your book should be included on sylllabi and I will definitely do so in the future. I’m also very thankful for your chapters on your Vietnam, especially your discussion of recognizing the beauty of the people despite whatever may be going on politically. I work for the Russian American Foundation and I take preprofessional teenaged ballet students to Moscow for the summer to study at the Bolshoi Ballet School. They also begin to learn Russian, immerse themselves in the culture and interact with young Russians their age. Your emphasis on the importance of viewing civilians as people not so different from us (regardless of political circumstances) has reminded me how important it is for me to teach these young people to recognize stereotypes and propaganda, and that the people of a country should not be equated with its government. During this time of political turmoil between Russia and America, one must understand that it is possible to despise the leadership, while still adoring the country and its people.

    Finally, Thank you so much for Grace and Frankie! It is a wonderful and important show that teaches intersectionality and tackles ageism. (There are more and more presentations at academic conferences on Grace and Frankie!) Speaking of academic conferences, last month I moderated a panel on Feminisms in 1968 and one of the main topics was you and Barbarella. We had an interesting discussion and please know that you are very well-liked and respected in academia.

    I admire you very much as a person, actress, activist and humanitarian.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this blog despite your busy schedule.

    All the best to you!

    Jenny

  29. Dear Jane,

    I saw one of your interviews once that said you often recommend good books you enjoy to your close friends. I have run out of books to read lately and want something educational, preferably about feminism and/or politics. I was wondering if you have read anything lately you might want to recommend?

    Thanks, Erin xx

    • Sure thing, Erin. I have read the following in an effort to understand racism in this country more deeply and they have woke me:
      THE NEW JIM CROW by Michelle Alexander
      THE BEAUTIFUL STRUGGLE by Ta-Nehisi Coates
      “When They Call You A Terrorist” by Patrisse Khan Cullors
      and then “Barking At The Choir” by Father Greg Boyle.

      I highly recommend all of therm. Thanks for asking. xx

  30. Thanks for daring to be real in each epoch of your life – that’s real honesty. I haven’t always agreed with you but then, sometimes I can be pretty dumb too! Your craft as an actor has improved with age. I hope my craft as a Doctor has improved too. Keep telling your version of life and Ill keep telling mine, and I hope more people can tell theirs too so that we the people can have our voices heeded by the leaders we elect to represent us. Have a great year Jane.

  31. Dear Jane,
    Thanks for season four of Grace and Frankie. I learn a lot about acting from you two (I am a writer and an actor myself).

    I loved your reflection on being 80. Specially because, as I read it, I could see in your eyes what you meant. And I’ll explain this: we have seen you grow (not “grow old”, but GROW) on screen. When I was small, in the 80’s, in Chile we could often see you on films, in the afternoons (that’s how I saw 9 to 5–and I told you the story on how Dolly saved my adolescence with her boobs), and when I look into your eyes now, I can see you have forgiven and have let go. And that makes me very happy. It gives me hope that one day I’ll be able to do the same.

    And, regarding Trump, sometimes I think everybody is fighting him in the wrong arena. He’s not a politician, he is a media man, in a Kim Kardashian way. No strategies that worked to defeat the opposition before work with him. He markes–in my humble opinion–the death of politics as we knew them. Whatever political strategy is used against him, won’t work I think.

    He is not fighting agaist anyone, not even against Hillary Clinton, he is shinning. And that is very different. You can’t fight him with ideas or marches, or debates. You just need someone who shines more than him.

    Think about it: he doesn’t care about the bad press. For him, any appearence on the media, regardless of the issue, is a good thing. It makes him shine. Kim Kardashian can show us her ass, her boobs, dress like an aborigine and scandalize everyone in every way possible, and her fame is still untouchable. Because it’s not about content, it’s not about ideas or ideals, it’s about SHINNING.

    The world now is based on images, not ideas. This is not a fight you can win with speech. It’s a fight you win with projected images, with a PERSONA. Trump is not a person nor a politician, he is a persona. There’s a whole creative process behind his image. And I figured this out, because I have been obsessed with creative processes for a while now. I kept thinking creative processes withing the frame of art, but Trump opened my horizons XD

    If the US implodes, you are always welcome here in Chile 🙂

    Besos!

  32. Hey Jane I absolutely adore you and look to you as a vicarious mentor. Thank you for all you share about your life lessons. They mean a lot to me.

    One request however. You are also being a mentor for Christians, like me. I want to ask you to not accept it when scripts (like the last Season 4 episode of Grace and Frankie) ask your to use Christ’s name in vain. I apologize if I misheard you, but I thought you used Jesus Christ as an epithet. Please do better, because you are better in so many, many ways. ❤️

    • Thank you, Diane. I will try to do what you suggest. It’s important. I appreciate your pointing that out to me. xx

  33. Hello Ms Fonda:
    You are a great actress all your movies had a point relevant in for that time. On Golden Pond was my favorite film you appeared in. One could see the heart you put into that film with your Dad.

    As they say age is just a number, no actress past or present has demonstrated so much diversity.

    Fan from New England
    Paul McFadden

  34. Hey Jane, I’m reading your book~ My Life So Far and I can barely put it down! Some of it reminds me of me! I’m into saving the enviornment and try to spread the word about Climate change and chem trails. Your book is very inspiring. I appreciate how open you are about your life. My childhood also sucked (pardon my expression). I would love to sit down and have a cup of coffee with you sometime. lol

  35. Hi, Jane.

    As a young adult, I find your comments about the consequences of having two billion more people on the planet so intriguing. I think this is something you touch on in your memoir as well, and as I pass someone on the street in the busy city I live in, I think of your words and wonder what it was like walking around sixty, seventy, or eighty years ago–how free you must have felt.

    Did you ever investigate that Adrienne Rich essay I suggested (Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence)? Regardless, please continue to post updates on your blog. I’m always so moved by your candor–your authenticity here inspires me to be more truthful in my own writing and reflection.

    Kind regards,

    Emily Furlich

    (I commented this same message before but is still pending moderation after a month, but I’ve noticed other people reporting glitches with comments on here, so I’m posting it again just in case.)

  36. Hi Jane,
    I usually watch Grace and Frankie on my iPad on my commuter flights. Can’t do that any more because I just have to laugh out loud so often!! Kind of disturbs the other passengers. Ha ha! But I do tell them what I’m watching and so I spread the word. Yesterday a little girl sitting next to me was very curious and so started watching it with me…just at the point where the vagina balloons came out. I nearly died!!!
    🙂
    Jason

  37. Hi Jane. First of all, you look fabulous! I love Grace & Frankie! I also have two questions: 1) What is your favorite Jane Fonda film? 2) Was your Lean Routine workout ever produced on dvd? (I had the VHS tape, but lost it during a move.) I loved that workout.

    • My 3 favs are “Klute”, “Coming Home” and “On Golden Pond.” But I loved “The Dollmaker” which I won and Emmy for…on ABC.

      I don’t believe the Lean Routine was put onto DVDs but 5 of the first videos were, the biggest sellers.

      • I recently saw The Dollmaker, what an extraordinary woman so strong, I love her, your performance was sublime. Love Candita

  38. Ms.Fonda,
    I just recently became familiar with the One Fair Wage movement and have been inspired by the efforts you, Lily Tomlin and of course, Saru Jayaraman with ROC united. I am proudly using my platform as a college student at Emerson College to hopefully inspire more people to get involved. For my speech class, I have to do a presentation persuading my audience to either feel a certain way or incite a desire for them to change something and am so stoked to have an opportunity to educate them on what One Fair Wage is and why we should care. So thank you for using your celebrity to reach more audiences and just know you’ve inspired me to use mine!

    • Madison, I’m so excited that you’re working on One Fair Wage. It has so many ramifications for millions of women. BTW, Emerson is the only college brave enough to have awarded me an Honorary Doctorate! xxx

      • All the more reason to be a proud Lion! Although, I must say, it does come as quite a shock to hear only Emerson has been gallant enough to do so. Though I am sure the acknowledgement for all that you do is hardly what you seek, it is something you undoubtedly deserve. Great women like you, Gloria Steinem and Robin Morgan at the Women’s Media Center (I want to include so may others here but I’m sure you’re familiar with anyone I’d name, and knowing me this will go from a quick message to an endless rant I won’t be able to stop myself from finishing. Which, is basically what’s happening now.) inspire me more than I can put into words. And it is something I wish I could thank you for, because your voice matters and I’m so grateful you’re aware of it and use it to it’s full extent.

  39. Dear Jane,
    As a Vietnam veteran, I would like to thank you for your lifetime of service to humanity and for all the things that you have done to try to improve things here on the home planet
    I am so very sorry for the pain & suffering that you have had to endure because of the lies
    I rode to Washington about 15 years ago and was grieved by the senseless anger that they have caused
    I also have been to Hanoi. Earlier this week my company published a story about it and I thought that you would understand & enjoy reading it and watching Lien’s short video
    With great love & respect,
    Reed ❤️

    http://m.illumination.duke-energy.com/articles/the-courage-to-forgive-the-power-of-healing

    • Oh Reed, I watched your video and read the article and I love you. I wish we could meet one day. You are my kind of guy and, yes, forgiveness is at the heart of things. It so moved me how the Vietnamese were able to forgive us but when I was there in the ’70s I discovered why this was so. If you send me your address I will send you my memoir which tells about my trip to North Vietnam and what I learned. Thank you for being able to know that so much of what has been said about that trip of mine was fake news. We didn’t have a name for it then. I think the far right needs to keep that hatred alive even though it damages the men who hold onto it, keeping them in a state of anxiety and misunderstandings.But they need a scape goat. It’s too hard, I guess, for them to face the fact that it was their own government who lied to and manipulated them. Again, Reed, thank you. Love, Jane

  40. Hi Jane!!!
    You haven’t blogged in a little while and I wanted to just say hi & ask how you’re doing! Can you believe we are already almost half way through April this year!? Time seriously flies. I’ve been seeing Grace & Frankie pictures on twitter and Instagram and can’t wait for the new season! I got my mom and dad watching it, they love it too!!! I think they watched it faster than I did haha! I’m almost done with my first year of college at Kent State and was wondering if you have any advice for me or anyone my age (19 next month) you could share with me? 🙂 Anyways Jane, you inspire me everyday! Hope you’re doing well! I’m so glad I watched G&F and a bunch of your movies and started doing your workouts. You are a-ma-zing and I love you!!! Also I love seeing you with your dog, Tulea. So cute, how did you come up with her name?
    Stay fab!
    ~Alexa

    • Thanks for writing, Alexa. I feel badly about blogging less than I used to. It’s partly because I am super busy filming “Grace & Frankie’s” 5th season, plus I have a very funny new movie coming out called “Book Club” with Diane Keaton, Candace Bergen and Mary Steenbergen and we’re doing promotions for that every free moment I get. But also, the things going on in this country (and the world!) have me stewing and organizing and fundraising. Time flies as you said.

      Advice for a 19 year-old guy? hmmm. Some say “follow your dreams.” I say “follow your strengths.” Try to discover your strengths—creative? arts? Mathematical? strategic? Science? sociable and good with people? Once you know your strengths you can begin to steer yourself toward studies that build on your strengths and prepare you for a job that plays to your strengths. It’s so hard to get a job these days. You have to be smart and strategic about preparing for what will suit you and where the biggest openings tend to be (nurses, engineers). Great that you’re at a good college. I spoke there once after the shootings in the 70s.

      My dog is a Coton de Tulear pronounced tulea so I named her Tulea.

      • Ah thank you Jane! I love hearing back from you!!!! I of course know you have a movie coming out, with a cast of 4 amazing ladies! It comes out the 18th and my birthday is the 21st, so it’s like an early birthday present to me! I remember reading in your book when you spoke at Kent. You should come back someday, wink wink!! 😉 One day I hope we meet in person! Thanks for the advice!
        Xoxo,
        Alexa

  41. I love to see you so busy and with so much energy, God bless you

  42. Being a trailing edge Baby Boomer, I’m a little resistant to keeping up with technology, but I finally got Netflix and saw your show. FANTASTIC! I’ve always seen you as a great role model, have admired all of your work, especially your strong voice for everything that you believe in (and which I just happen to agree with 😉 I was watching Grace and Frankie with my best friend with whom I had some recent issues. The characters were so much like us that it made us laugh and helped us to see how trivial our angst with each other really was. She knows everything about actors and told me your age. I was shocked to say the least! My admiration for you has increased 100 fold, so much so that I was inspired to join your blog. Thank you so much and keep up the great work!!!
    Jennifer Gilmer
    http://www.gilmerkitchens.com

    • Thanks, Jennifer, good to have you join us. More to come. xx

  43. Hi Jane –

    You are a constant inspiration for me and so many others. I know you are a very spiritual person and we share in both knowing Roshi Joan Halifax from Upaya in Santa Fe. I want you to know how grateful I am to you for posting something on your blog (years ago) about Roshi and Upaya – without your blog, I may not have heard of it. I have been to Upaya many times and learned a great deal about myself and Buddhism – all linking back to you. It’s cool to realize that something we pass along could end up being a “game changer” for someone!

    Curious to know if you miss Santa Fe, etc.? I LOVE it there and hope to go through Upaya’s Chaplaincy Program at some point.

    All the best to you dear Jane,

    Daniel

    • Daniel, I think about Santa Fe all the time and of Roshi Joan. I just read her ne3w book, “Standing at the Edge.” Beautiful. I will go back soon I hope. Maybe for the Rohatsu. Did you read my chapter “The Work In” in my book “Prime Time” where I tell about my experience at Upaya–8 days of formal, silent Buddhist meditation!

      • Dear Jane –
        I did read “Prime Time” and now recall the chapter to which you refer. It actually inspired me to do a silent meditation seshin for my 50th birthday as I needed to “sit” with turning 50 years old. I have to say, doing the seshin rather than a “destination vacation birthday” as many good friends requested was the best choice I could have made for my birthday plans. I LOVE Santa Fe and can’t wait to get back…and I received Roshi’s new book on Tuesday and can’t wait to read it! xxx

        • This makes me very hppy, Daniel. Isn’t Upaya a wondrous place and Roshi Joan wise beyond words. I love her book. Namaste

  44. Hi Jane,
    I really liked reading your last post, so many good conclusions and positive vibes, just what we all need, its so universal, ageing its something that we must all face and embrace.
    Now, I agree that the subject of death is so mystic and hard to grasp for most of us, so we just go ‘I’ll think about it tomorrow’ or just ignore it. Lots of theories, many books written on the subject of death tho no clear answer no reasonable explanation. Its such an eternal, essential question…
    I agree with the list of your own favorite movies, tho I’m surprised that They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? didn’t make the cut? That move earned you your first Oscar nomination. proved that you are a great dramatic actress, and it was unique and so ahead of its time in so many ways.
    There is one scene at the end of the move, where your character, Gloria realizes that hard truth; faced with no easy future and being tortured both physically and mentally she makes a rather radical, shocking and yet brave decision…that whole scene was so intense, chilling and unsetting. How did you prepared for that? Do you still remember what was in your mind, what moved you to go to that place?

    • Valter, my mother committed suicide when I was 12. I have often tried to imagine the feelings and thoughts that were in her head when she did it. That’s what I was thinking during that scene. Death seemed like such a relief. Glad you felt I succeeded. xx

  45. Dear Jane.
    I’m such a huge fan of yours! You’ve really been (and still is) a big inspiration to me. I just made an account her but I’ve looked through your blog a zillion times before and I really enjoy it! Also, I love your workout videos so much and I just bought them on DVD. Thank you for being such a legend. (PS: Can’t wait for Book Club)

    I would love if you would sometime take a look at my fanpages for you (VintageFilmArchive on Instagram/ JFondaWorld on Twitter)

    Elise xx

    • Oh Elise, I will look at your fan pager. my gay hairdresser and makeup artist have both told me about it. They so love it. Thank you. I’ve never had a fan page ike hat in all my 60 years of show biz. xxx Jane

  46. Jane,
    First and foremost I want to thank you, for being the strong, courageous, incredible, and open woman that you are and for inspiring me to be the best version of myself that I can be. Over the years you’ve taught me many, many things. Lessons that I’m not sure any one else could have.
    Learning about your struggle with bulimia and how you were strong enough to leave it behind you, gave me a sense of power that I could also beat this and leave it in the past, along with the comments my father made about me, my body, how I should look, how I would never find a husband (not that I need one) if I didn’t look a certain way, etc.
    I grew up hearing that I was a beautiful, talented, way too skinny, young woman who was going to do great things someday, not that I ever believed a word of that because my father had completely brain washed me.
    Since my teenage years when I suffered the hardest with my bulimia, I’ve learned to ignore his comments, to shut them out, to embrace my new (larger) body. I’ve learned what it’s like to feel healthy again, to enjoy food, to not sneak away to the bathroom, I’ve learned to change my ways, most of the time.
    And, I owe a lot of my thanks and gratitude to you. You don’t even know me, yet you helped me through the toughest times of my life. You, Jane, you beautiful, wonderful, extravagant woman, you helped me get my life back, and for you I am unimaginably grateful.
    This, leads me to my question, I know you’ve said before that you just quit, you stopped, all at once. Stopped feeding into the addiction, as did I, for the most part. But it still taunts me, begs me, tries to get my attention, no matter how cured I think I am, it still haunts me. It is always there, waiting for me to take the bait that is ever so tempting. So, how did you get through that? Through the haunting, the taunting, the wanting, the addiction?
    Do you have any tips? Anything that could make this journey a little less hard on me?
    Thank you again,
    Sienna xx

    • Sienna, I’m so sorry you’ve had to go through this. For while I took Prozac. It helped. relieves anxiety. After awhile the nagging desire disappeared. Stay strong.

  47. Dear Ms Fonda,
    I am a 23 years old girl from Greece. The last months i have that strong feeling that i should write you and i will explain why.
    As a music student, I recently fell in love with 9 to 5 theme song. Everyday, I hear it, I play it and I sing it as my energy battery. And then, thanks to youtube suggestions, I found out about Grace & Frankie series, which I have already watched three times and I am looking forward for the fifth season. Great series, I enjoyed it so much, it’s funtastic. I think, it captures woman issues in real, no matter their age. I identified myself with several stories of the series and this made me feel relieved, moved and hoped.
    And then, because of the series, I started to watch some of your interviews. Your inspiring words and acts have spoken to my heart and it turned me into a better person. A better person for myself, my friends, my family, my students, my team.
    I am planning to write my bachelor theses in the next two semesters and I couldn’t start better than having as a moto “Stay curious. It’s much more important to be interested than being interesting”. I loved it. It describes me. It motivates me. I love and care my job and my studies so much and this moto, honestly, gives me power and vision.
    Furthermore, another thing that I would keep in my mind is that “We are not meant to be perfect, we are meant to be whole”. I always couldn’t manage to deal with failure or frustration and I have punished myself for not being perfect many times. This statement made me realise that it doesn’t matter if something didn’t go as well as I expected, as long as I have put my effort to it. Failure is not to try.
    In addition, I would like to say that it is so inspiring for young people, and in particular for young women, to see a woman like you so active in political activism. You know, Aristoteles said that man is by nature a political being. As a girl guide, i volunteer almost all my life and we are trying to encourange young people to have critical thinking, environmental awareness and to be socially active. I realised that you are such a great living example for us.
    In conclusion, I could have written pages to you but I chose to mention some points. Of course, I have watched a lot of your movies and I think you are a terrific actress. But for me, comes first that you are a terrific human being. THANK YOU.

    Yours sincerely,
    Sofia

    PS1: I really hope that you will read this.
    PS2: I really loved what you have said in TEDx interview about female friendships.

    • Sofia, Thank you so much for your words. It makes me happy to know I’ve made a difference for you. This is really me writing to say I read your comment from Greece. xxx

  48. Reader’s Letter, Correspondence page, ROLLING STONE, 6 July 1972:
    “Thank you for the Jane Fonda interview. America should not have to wait until she is 50 to realize Jane is a great and courageous woman.”
    Haskell Wexler, Hollywood.

  49. Hi Jane. I am a long time fan. You are wise and have always been very for our world and it’s people.
    You should be very proud, as you are well respected.
    Bravo. I live in Canada, a First Nations Mohawk Woman soon to be 74.
    All the best, Norrie

    • Norrie, Go FIRST NATIONS. You have much to teach the rest of us. xx

  50. Dear Jane,

    I left a version of this comment on this blog post in January but it’s still under moderation, so I thought I’d post it again with some updates. It’s about due for an update anyway, since I’ve just come from a press screening of Book Club in Singapore! (Have you ever visited Singapore, by the way??)

    I really enjoyed your performance in the film – especially in that scene near the end where you’re sobbing in bed, hair a mess and eyeliner everywhere. I honestly can’t think of very many actors who would be willing to do what you did there: trade their vanity for vulnerability and truth, which I know must be especially difficult considering that the industry in which you work is so obsessed with youth and beauty.

    That scene in Book Club actually reminded me of my favourite scene in Season 4 of Grace & Frankie, which still blows me away every time I watch it: the one in which Grace shows Nick ‘the real me’. It was such an incredible, breathtaking moment, to have a character like Grace – who cares so much about her appearance that she’s kept up an illusion of herself for 40 years for Robert, a man who didn’t and couldn’t even love her in the first place – shed her armour in front of Nick. I thought it was incredibly brave on your part as well. I’m a part-time film critic and have watched plenty of movies and TV, and I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen as achingly vulnerable and lovely a scene as that one.

    You mentioned in a recent interview with Lily that it was terrifying for you to do this scene. I was wondering if you could share a little bit more about what it was like for you throughout the entire process: from reading the scene on the page to preparing for it, and finally performing it. How did you get yourself through it? Did you watch the dailies, as I know you try to do? What was it like for you to see that scene committed to the screen?

    And I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for going through with the scene even when it terrified you. That scene went viral for a reason: it resonated with a lot of people, especially women, and I’m glad you braved your own fears to put that truth out into the world. It truly amazes and inspires me that you’re still doing stuff that scares and challenges you – whether as an actor, an activist or a person – even when you’re 80. I could definitely stand to learn from your example; I don’t want to be one of those people who stops living while they’re still alive!

    Anyway – thank you, Jane! I’ve spent the last few months diving into your filmography and watching interviews online, and I’ve especially loved seeing how you’ve always tried your best to blend your art with your activism. Discovering your movies from the 1970s and 1980s has been a revelation. I love that pretty much all the movies you’ve made (then and since) have been about the importance of listening to and respecting female voices and characters. You put your money where your mouth is, and your art where your heart is. And I love that!

    • Shawne, Thanks for your nice comments. When something scares me I tend to embrace it full-heartedly and that’s what I did in those scenes when I had to look bad. I’ve posted pictures of me looking bad–having just lost my tooth in Portugal, having slept in an evening gown I wasn’t able to unzip and going to the kitchen the next day looking like hell. I think it’s important for folks to see that how we look under perfect lighting and after hair dressers and makeup artists have made you over isn’t how we normally look. It takes a village, especially when you’re older. xxx

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